Navigating Water and Mold Insurance Claims
Water can cause extensive damage and the resulting mold can lead to significant health problems. While the consequences of unaddressed damage can be long-lasting and costly, property insurance coverage should help alleviate the financial burden of these damages. At The Murray Law Group, our attorneys can help you understand your coverage and when to pursue a claim.
You have been paying your insurance premiums for years, and your policy includes coverage for water and mold damage. Unfortunately, insurance companies often prioritize their profits over the well-being of their policyholders. They may attempt to deny your claim or pay as little as possible, leaving you to deal with the consequences of unresolved damage.
The expert insurance claim attorneys at The Murray Law Group are dedicated to helping you receive the appropriate compensation from your insurance company. With our expertise and legal resources, our mission is to ensure your property's restoration and your financial recovery.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Navigating the complexities of water and mold damage insurance claims can be overwhelming. Insurance companies have extensive resources at their disposal, giving them the advantage in negotiations. By retaining an experienced insurance claim attorney, you can ensure that you receive the benefits and compensation you're entitled to under your policy. Our insurance lawyers can help you by:
- Providing a free claims evaluation
- Explaining your legal rights as a policyholder
- Assessing the coverages available under your policy
- Investigating the source of water damage and mold growth
- Hiring experts for unbiased assessments of your damages
- Determining the value of your claim
- Handling communications with your insurance company
- Negotiating with your insurance company
- Filing complaints with the Florida Department of Insurance
- Prosecuting your insurance company in a court of law
- Fighting for a fair settlement on your behalf
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Case Study: Water Damage
The loss occurred at the owners' vacation property near Disney World, Florida. A failure in the sprinkler system valve located on the third floor resulted in water traveling from the top floor down to the first. The damage was discovered roughly 10 days after the initial leak during routine inspections of the property. The unit suffered significant water and mold-related issues while the unit was unoccupied
Creating Positive Outcomes
Water & Mold Claim FAQs
- Identify the source of the water damage.
- Shut off the water supply if the loss is from pipes or appliances.
- Document the damage and take pictures/videos immediately.
- Report the claim to your insurance company.
- Check for mold and hidden damage.
- Start the dry out process, call a restoration company if damage is significant.
- Take steps to protect your property from further damage.
- Locate or request a copy of your insurance policy.
- Save receipts reflecting any work performed or expenses incurred.
- Keep detailed notes of conversations with your insurance adjuster.
- See professional representation to assist in your insurance claim.
Water damage can arise from various sources, including:
- Burst or leaking pipes
- Appliance malfunctions
- Sewage backups
- Storm damage or flooding
- HVAC malfunctions
- Leaking roofs or windows
Regardless of the source, our Florida water damage claims attorneys can assist you in preparing your insurance claim and securing the funds necessary for a full recovery.
Insurance companies may deny coverage for water and mold damage for several reasons. Insurance Companies engage in bad faith insurance practices by underpaying or denying valid claims, hoping to increase their profits at the expense of their policyholders. Common reasons for denying a water and mold damage claim include:
- The property is underinsured
- Insufficient evidence to support payments
- Lack of documentation provided
- Sources of water damage not covered (e.g., sewage backups, flooding)
- Illegal activity or fraud
- Unpermitted work on the property
- Pre-existing damage or wear and tear
- Policy exclusions limiting coverage
- Unpaid policy premiums
Water and mold claim claims are often undervalued by the insurance company. Insurance companies and adjusters are not interested in paying out settlements timely and properly. The insurance company wants to keep payouts low and premiums high to improve their profit margin.
Signs your claim may have been underpaid:
1. Insurance Company’s Estimate Seems Too Low
If you feel that the estimate is too low, trust your gut and intuition. More often than not, if you suspect the estimate is too low, then it probably is.
2. Adjuster Rushed the Property Inspection
By law, the adjuster must inspect your damaged property and issue a damage estimate within 60 days of the loss. Many adjusters rush through the inspection and do not do a thorough investigation, thereby creating an estimate of repairs cost that is artificially low. This is called a low-ball estimate. Whether the adjuster is careless or has bad faith intentions, it can leave you with a lower settlement offer than you need.
3. Damage Was Overlooked or Not Accounted For
Review the insurance estimate and the adjuster documents carefully to ensure all damage and repair costs are identified. If damage has been overlooked or not accounted for in the estimate or documents, you need to take action. Failure to act could result in the underpayment of your claim.
4. Part of Your Claim Was Denied
If any part of your claim was denied, then your claim may be undervalued. Often the insurance company will deny part of your claim to save money. If your property damage claim has been partially denied, it’s not the end of the claim. The claim can be reopened.
5. Offered the Actual Cash Value Instead of Replacement Costs
Your insurance company may also offer to pay the actual cash value instead of the full cost required to replace or repair the property. Depending on your claim and your insurance policy, the insurance company may be underpaying your claim intentionally to save money.
6. Wear & Tear or Old Damages
If your insurance company states that the damages are old or are from wear and tear, this may be a sign they are trying to underpay the repairs. If the insurance company did not ask you to make repairs to your property prior to issuing or renewing the insurance policy, and after a claim states damages are from wear and tear or are old damages, it’s assigned there intentionally trying to underpay your claim.
7. Told You Do Not Need an Attorney or a Public Adjuster
If you are told you don’t need an attorney or a public adjuster on your claim, then you should call one and ask for a free claims review. Most attorneys or public adjusters will perform a free claim review to sure you are being treated properly under your insurance policy.
8. Advised their there is a Lack of Coverage or a Gap in Coverage
Another sign that your insurance company has undervalued your property damage claim is when you have been advised about a lack of coverage or a gap in coverage under your insurance policy. If your insurance company says there is no coverage for certain types of damages or losses, then you should always get a second opinion.
Damage from water and damage from flooding fall under two different forms of coverage in an insurance policy. The former is typically included in standard homeowners insurance policies while the latter falls under its own flood insurance policy from a separate insurer.
FEMA defines flooding as:
“A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (one of which is the policyholder’s) from:
- Overflow of inland or tidal waves; or
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
- Mudflow; or
- A collapse of subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water because of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that results in a flood as defined above.”
CONTACT THE MURRAY LAW GROUP TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
Reach out to our office today to speak with one of our expert fire damage claim attorneys. The attorney will provide a free assessment of what your claim is worth quickly and effectively.
Contact Murray Law Group by calling 1-855-269-4317 today for a free consultation with an experienced Florida fire insurance claim attorney.